Way before the crack of dawn yesterday, a line had formed outside DBS Bank's Bedok Town Centre branch.
It was 3am and people born in the Year of the Tiger or Dragon were waiting to deposit money on the auspicious day of Li Chun. The hour was considered exceptionally lucky for people born under those Chinese zodiac signs to deposit cash.
Throughout the day yesterday, there were steady queues at banks and cash deposit machines across the island, as people scrambled for a shot at improving their fortunes.
Some believe depositing money on Li Chun, which marks the start of spring in the Chinese calendar, will help boost one's wealth and ensure good luck during Chinese New Year.
Some 10,000 DBS/POSB employees did not have to queue - but had money rolling in when their employer credited their February salaries into their bank accounts yesterday.
"This year, we have received feedback that the salary crediting on Li Chun has pleasantly surprised and delighted many employees," said DBS' Singapore head of human resources Theresa Phua.
There were four two-hour windows throughout the day for people of different zodiac signs to deposit their cash, according to charts that have circulated online.
Some donned auspicious colours and prepared a particular amount of money to deposit for extra luck.
"I'm a traditional person. By doing this, I hope that each year will be better than the previous one," said Madam Teo Eng Lee, 58, who arrived at the DBS branch in Bedok Town Centre at her auspicious time of 11am, specially clad in a red blouse.
Madam Teo, who is self-employed, said her family of 10 also followed the lucky practice at various times of the day.
The wait lasted at least 45 minutes for Ms Charlyn Tan, 36, a sales administrative executive, but she did not mind. "There's no harm in trying. It's not difficult to do and it's also a good habit to save money."
Some tried to beat the queues by using coin deposit machines or opting for less crowded banks.
Others wondered what the fuss over Li Chun was all about. Polytechnic student Lim Jian Hui, 20, who waited thrice as long as usual to deposit money, said: "It's just a superstition and I don't think it works. I will probably avoid going to the bank on this day next year."